A Silver Stick for the books?

Kincardine teams have sights set high
Section: 
Sports

By Josh Howald

Kincardine could very well celebrate three decades of Silver Stick action with three Regional championships.

The Kincardine Legion peewees open the Silver Stick on Dec. 28. (Independent file photo/Howald)

 

Not to put any pressure on the youngsters, but it wouldn’t be a shock if the novice, peewee and bantam Kinucks were all playing for championships on Friday, Dec. 30. Anything can, and often does, happen at the Silver Stick tournament, but all three Kincardine Minor Hockey Association teams are having excellent seasons and head into the Silver Stick on a roll.

The 30th annual Kincardine Regional Silver Stick will kick off on Tuesday, Dec. 27 in Ripley, Tiverton and Kincardine. A total of 47 teams will be competing for six division titles. The novice action will take place in Ripley, while the peewees will be playing in Tiverton and the bantam games will be played at the Davidson Centre in Kincardine. All of the championship games will take place Friday, Dec. 30 in Kincardine.

The tournament is the largest sporting event of the year in Kincardine. In addition to giving the local economy a significant boost, local sports fans turn out in droves to support the local teams. It will be the largest crowd the teams have played in front of this season, certainly. And the crowd will be hungry for wins after Kincardine failed to advance to any championship games at the 2015 tournament.

Here is a quick tournament preview for each of the three Kincardine teams participating in the Silver Stick tournament.

Kincardine Home Hardware novice Kinucks (22-5-2)

Kincardine has a large number of novice hockey players this season. In addition to the Home Hardware Kinucks, there are also four local league teams. The Home Hardware Kinucks are coached by Chris Lyndon and Dwayne Sheppard.

The novices head into the Silver Stick with an impressive record, but the Silver Stick won’t be a stroll through the park. Two of those losses came to Saugeen Shores – who is in Kincardine’s group and will be the Kinucks' first opponent at 9 a.m. on Dec. 27 in Ripley. Kincardine can beat Saugeen Shores, however, and did so last week in Southampton. Mitchell and Hanover are also in the grouping with Kincardine and Saugeen Shores. The other group will feature Elmvale, Listowel, Tavistock and Mount Forest.

The novices will play two games on the tournament’s opening day. After that 9 a.m. game, Kincardine will play again at 2:15 p.m. against Mitchell, in Ripley. Then, the club will wrap up the preliminary portion of the Silver Stick with a 4:15 p.m. game on Wednesday against Hanover. That game will also be played in Ripley. The top two teams from each group will then meet in semi-final games that begin in Ripley at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29.

Kincardine Legion peewee Kinucks (21-6-1)

Like the novices, the Legion Branch #183 Kinucks enter the tournament with a fantastic record. They were also on a roll – heading into weekend action, Kincardine had won eight straight games.

They are one of eight teams looking to win the Silver Stick. They have two preliminary round games scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 28. The first is a 9 a.m. game against BCH. The second is at 1:45 p.m. against Tavistock. Both those games will be played at the Tiverton Sports Complex. The Kinucks have not faced Tavistock this season, but did defeat BCH 4-0 at the Davidson Centre earlier this month.

The peewee B division also includes Listowel, Mitchell, South Huron, Hanover and Tavistock. Hanover is the only team in the group who has defeated Kincardine this season. The Falcons knocked off Kincardine in a tight 2-1 game back in November.

Coaches Greg Tanner and Warren Farrell have a deep line-up to work with.

Kincadine Timber Mart bantam Kinucks (22-2-2)

The bantams are riding an unbeaten streak of 15 games into the Silver Stick tournament.

They will kick off the tournament on Dec. 27 against a familiar foe in BCH. The Kinucks have defeated the IceDogs three times already this season. The teams will face-off at 12:30 p.m. at the Davidson Centre in Kincardine. Then the Kinucks will have a 6:30 p.m. contest against Mitchell. That game will mark the official opening of the 30th annual Kincardine Regional Silver Stick. Ceremonies will take place before the puck drops in that game. Interestingly enough, the bantams have not met Mitchell yet this season.

Kincardine will then play South Huron on Thursday, Dec. 29 at 10:10 a.m.

The other grouping has Listowel, Tavistock, Twin Centre and Mount Forest.

Coach Blair Pollock will have one final tune-up with the bantam Kinucks on Dec. 22 with a home game against Hanover.

There is no charge for admission at the Silver Stick for the first three days, at all three arenas. A day pass for all six championship games at the Davidson Centre in Kincardine Dec. 30 is $5.

The Kincardine Independent is once again proud to be the official newspaper of the Kincardine Regional Silver Stick tournament. For a full tournament schedule, see page 32 of this week’s print edition, available in stores now. For full Silver Stick coverage, don’t miss our next edition Jan. 4. For tournament updates, visit our website www.independent.on.ca often and for scores and notes follow us on twitter@kincintheslot. The Independent will also be posting some game action shots to our Facebook page.